Washington, D.C. – December 15, 2014 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) praised both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for agreeing to reauthorize Brand USA as part of the omnibus spending bill to fund the government. As the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, AH&LA pressed Members of Congress to continue this critical program with letters, meetings and phone calls, and today welcomed the final Senate vote which sent the legislation to the President’s desk for signature.
“Consensus and partnership are two words not often uttered in Washington D.C., but today we see that both sides can come together and accomplish worthy goals. Extending Brand USA will allow the hotel industry to continue to grow and create well-paying, long-lasting jobs.
“Brand USA ensures that the United States remains competitive and utilizes tools that most other countries also use to attract and welcome international travelers. This bill is a win not only for the hotel and travel industry, but for every small business and industry that tourists support. Ensuring the continuation of this program is critical to our industry, and we applaud Congress for their bipartisan collaboration and getting the job done,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president and CEO.
Brand USA is a private-public partnership designed to increase international travel to the United States. Last year alone, Brand USA generated 1.1 million incremental international visitors, $3.4 billion in direct spending, and $1 billion in total sales tax revenue, and created or supported 53,000 jobs. The program operates without the investment of a single dollar in taxpayer funds.